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Michigan Constitutional Law Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law and Constitutional Law for Michigan on
Q: i was stopped for alleged speeding 48 in a 35. was told if everything checked out i would recieve a verbal warning.

he gave me a verbal warning then said his dog hit on my truck which i did not consent to but i know he did not call us in cause my plates were 2 months expired not to mention when he ran mine and my wifes license he said we were clear in michigan not knowing my wife had a wisconsin dl. an empty... Read more »

Brent T. Geers
Brent T. Geers answered on Aug 30, 2021

You need a criminal defense attorney now. These situations are fact dependent. It sounds like there was a valid stop. An attorney might want to know how long you were stopped before the dog came out. And there are some interesting cases regarding what can happen when a dog "hits" on a... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Civil Rights and Constitutional Law for Michigan on
Q: Act 451 of 1976 Sec 1307b subset (H) Any Restraint the negatively impacts breathing. Can we opt out of mask wearing?

I'm concerned for my son wearing a mask 8 hours a day in school (the currently requirement) Can we opt out of mask wearing and be protected under this law?

Brent T. Geers
Brent T. Geers answered on Aug 26, 2021

No. That statute applies to school personnel and what can be done to students within the school. School officials have an obligation to follow applicable laws. The mask mandate comes from county health departments. School officials must follow those orders, and they would be acting under color of... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law, Federal Crimes, Communications Law and Constitutional Law for Michigan on
Q: Is it always a federal crime to threaten someone online or through phone, even if the person or thing being threatened

is in the same state as the threatener? Is this because Congress has the power to regulate interstate commerce and make laws pertaining to the foregoing power and phones and the internet are considered to be interstate commerce?

Brent T. Geers
Brent T. Geers answered on Aug 10, 2021

Bingo! phone lines and internet connections are matters of interstate commerce. But it is not always charged as a federal crime; more often than not, it would be a state-level charge.

1 Answer | Asked in Constitutional Law, Criminal Law, Federal Crimes and Civil Rights for Michigan on
Q: Where does Congress get its constitutional authority to pass federal criminal and civil laws? Congress has the enumerate

authority to pass criminal laws when crimes happen on federal territory, on the high seas, relating to piracy, and in the military. Most say Congress can make criminal and civil laws using Clause 3 of Article I Section 8 of the Constitution (regulating interstate commerce), but isn't the... Read more »

Brent T. Geers
Brent T. Geers answered on Jun 29, 2021

Good questions. Federal crimes are connected to interstate commerce. Commonly, federal criminal cases involve multiple defendants in multiple states. Guns used in crime came from somewhere, and usually not from the state where the crime occurred. For example, a gun may have been stolen from someone... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law, Constitutional Law and Federal Crimes for Michigan on
Q: Let's say a person from Michigan has beef with a person from Ohio. The person from Michigan gets in their car and drives

to Ohio and kills the person they have beef with. Is that considered federal felony murder because they crossed state lines to kill a person in another state? Will the murderer be charged with federal murder, Michigan state murder, and Ohio state murder? Also, are the US Codes all the laws... Read more »

Brent T. Geers
Brent T. Geers answered on Jun 28, 2021

Not necessarily. Federal criminal law is concerned with interstate commerce. Under your fact scenario, the person would be charged with murder in the state the murder happened: Ohio. Note that Ohio has the death penalty, unlike Michigan.

1 Answer | Asked in Constitutional Law and Criminal Law for Michigan on
Q: Can a police officer go into a residence to do a wellness check and search while he is in there for drugs??

The person in charge of said residence told him he did not have permission

Brent T. Geers
Brent T. Geers answered on Jun 2, 2021

Your question is heavily fact-dependent. How and what was the police officer searching? What was the basis for a wellness check? Regardless, cops don't need to ignore things then in the open. For example, there would be no impermissible search required for the police to arrest someone when... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Constitutional Law, Criminal Law and Gov & Administrative Law for Michigan on
Q: For which types of warrants is a police officer required to posses the warrant?:

civil infractions, petty-misdemeanor, non-violent misdemeanors, non-violent felonies, etc... .

Brent T. Geers
Brent T. Geers answered on Mar 12, 2021

With modern technology, it's rare to see a paper arrest warrant. Police can arrest you for misdemeanors committed in their presence, or felonies upon information - there is no distinction between violent or non-violent. Search warrants are a different story.

1 Answer | Asked in Constitutional Law, Criminal Law, Traffic Tickets and Gov & Administrative Law for Michigan on
Q: Does the 4th amendment govern the possession of a warrant by a police officer?

webb v. state 51 n.j.l. 189 (1889), suggest that it is a requirement under common law.

Brent T. Geers
Brent T. Geers answered on Mar 12, 2021

The 4th Amendment does govern whether a warrant may be issued and when. Be careful with legal research and relying on case law for information unless you are trained to do so.

1 Answer | Asked in Gov & Administrative Law, Criminal Law and Constitutional Law for Michigan on
Q: What requirements must be satisfied under the 4th amendment by the government? Please list.

unreasonable search and seizure; probable cause; warrant; etc.... .

Brent T. Geers
Brent T. Geers answered on Mar 12, 2021

Your question is much to broad. The 4th Amendment is the subject of new case law nearly every week. But very broadly, a search or seizure must come about after reasonable suspicion or probable cause.

1 Answer | Asked in Health Care Law and Constitutional Law for Michigan on
Q: Can a county health department issue orders that citizens must abide by?
Michael Zamzow
Michael Zamzow answered on Mar 10, 2021

There are limits (not at all addressed below), but generally yes. Public health rule making is regarded as one of the Police Powers.

The US Constitution reserves the Police Powers to the states (Tenth Amendment), although limited by the supremacy clause (Article VI, paragraph 2, and not...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Civil Rights, Constitutional Law and Environmental for Michigan on
Q: R299.922(q) Civil Infraction Question

I received a civil infraction bt the DNR (Department of Natural Resources) in a state park. The Civil infraction is R299.922(q). I am trying to understand the penalties that come with this CI as the ranger said it was just a fine but I want to make sure it doesn't show up on my driving record... Read more »

Tim Akpinar
Tim Akpinar answered on Mar 2, 2021

A Michigan attorney could advise best, but your post remains open for a month. As a general matter, each state might operate differently in terms of what their Departments of Natural Resources (or Environmental Protection, Wildlife, Fisheries, etc.) share with their Departments of Motor Vehicles.... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law, Constitutional Law and Domestic Violence for Michigan on
Q: I'm being Subpoenaed to the grand jury cause my girlfriend and me were In a heated argument and she pulled a knife out

And I spun around and the knife stabbed me but when police arrived at the house I stated that I fell down the steps and now they are pretty much making me testify against her which I don't wish to do cause it could land me in jail also I need an attorney to represent me in this matter so I can... Read more »

Brent T. Geers
Brent T. Geers answered on Feb 16, 2021

You must appear as ordered by the subpoena. "Pleading the fifth" is a lot more complex than most people realize, and it's absolutely not the case where you can just go into a courtroom, say you're pleading the fifth, and just walk out while everyone shrugs their shoulders. If it... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law, Federal Crimes and Constitutional Law for Michigan on
Q: is 250,000 dollar bond excessive for a possession of cocaine charge in michigan?

the public defender just keeps taking the refusal for bond reduction. has yet to provide any type of paperwork regarding the case period. he says its due to being a flight risk. however, i beg to differ.. if it was for that reason isnt the judge supposed to offer the least restrictive means for... Read more »

Brent T. Geers
Brent T. Geers answered on Nov 7, 2020

There is little "science" to setting bonds. In some jurisdictions, initial bond is based on a "pre-bond" report. Unless you can show something substantial that was not contemplated by that report, bond will likely continue as-is.

$250,000 is on the high end for a...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Civil Rights and Constitutional Law for Michigan on
Q: Can school districts forcing parents to homeschool (do the teachers job) be considered as forced servitude?

I understand we are in a pandemic, my son has a fairly severe mental handicap, I feel it should be illegal to force me to attempt to homeschool him against my will and without compensation especially when I have absolutely no skill/ability in doing so.

Brent T. Geers
Brent T. Geers answered on Sep 12, 2020

Interesting take. While understandably a hardship, I don't think "forced servitude" covers taking care of your own children. Interestingly, there is no constitutional right to public schools as we know them; if they ceased to exist, all parents would be "forced" into servitude.

1 Answer | Asked in Civil Rights, Constitutional Law and Education Law for Michigan on
Q: Can I sue the school district for religious discrimination for my child to not wear a mask. It is against our religion
Brent T. Geers
Brent T. Geers answered on Aug 17, 2020

Interesting scenario...I'm not sure how such a suit would play out. Generally, claims of religious discrimination requires you to substantiate that what you are saying is an established component of your religion, and that you are a devoted member of that faith group. That is commonly done in... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Civil Rights, Constitutional Law and Criminal Law for Michigan on
Q: Wasn't given rights to a speedy trial low income is there someone I can contact there's been other misconduct
Brent T. Geers
Brent T. Geers answered on Jul 15, 2020

What do you mean by not having a right to a speedy trial? Delays in getting to trial can be attributed to the prosecution OR the defense, and unless you happened to be a MDOC prisoner at the time, there is no absolute right to have a trial within a certain period of time. What speedy trial does in... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Civil Rights and Constitutional Law for Michigan on
Q: Can a police officer tell you to leave a park parking lot if the park is closed?

Me and my 3 friends was sitting there talking at 2am the car was not started we was not on the park grounds just the parking lot

Brent T. Geers
Brent T. Geers answered on Jun 11, 2020

Absolutely. Most places have ordinances that actually make it a crime to be in a park after hours, and so the police absolutely can approach you and tell you to leave.

1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law, Civil Litigation, Civil Rights and Constitutional Law for Michigan on
Q: Refuse to testify in a Felony assault case. How to avoid jail time for disobeying a subpoena to testify.

Boyfriend was charged with assault to great bodily harm Less then death or strangulation. 2 count of domestic violence, and interfering with communication causing harm or death. I don’t want him to go to prison. I don’t want to go to jail if or when I get subpoenaed for not testifying against... Read more »

Brent T. Geers
Brent T. Geers answered on May 28, 2020

You are in a tough spot. This stopped being between just you and your boyfriend the minute the police were called.

It may be helpful in your analysis of what to do to know that in domestic violence cases, Michigan law (MCL 768.27c) allows the prosecutor to present your statements made to...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Constitutional Law for Michigan on
Q: Can practicing and ordained Pagans use Psilocybin for religious intent?

I’m ordained and have been considering doing a Pagan soul search.

Brent T. Geers
Brent T. Geers answered on May 20, 2020

Psilocybin (aka mushrooms) is considered a Schedule 1 controlled substance and so is illegal. There is no religious exception. If you are caught, you could be criminally charged with use or possession of a controlled substance.

1 Answer | Asked in Civil Litigation, Civil Rights and Constitutional Law for Michigan on
Q: looking for case law on dismissed civil cases based on a ex parte between judge and plaintiff lawyer

I'm involved in a case where a federal judge talked to plaintiff counsel in private during a hearing and never spoke to myself. I represent myself in the case. This infraction happened twice and after these meeting motions was granted against me. I have on record of last hearing where Judge... Read more »

Brent T. Geers
Brent T. Geers answered on May 1, 2020

No real answer here other than to say you really should be consulting with an attorney versed in federal court procedure, and at least consult with an attorney about helping you draft an appeal. It is unclear from your question how the judge spoke with plaintiff's counsel ex parte; it almost... Read more »

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